framing very old newspapers


True Grumbler
Dec 10, 2003
hopewell new jersey
the customer has between thirty and forty newspapers from lincoln's assassination up to the late twentieth century. some are very valuable, and he wants to frame them. he wants to keep the entire section together in the frame and doesn't want to realign the folds so the pages would align. this rules out framespacing them. what we finally came down to was to mylar encapsulate the section (8 pages) and then mat over the package and then frame. this way, it seems that the paper section will stay firm in the envelope.

i'm really looking for any other suggestions or shared experiences with this kind of task. needless to say, all materials, glazing, etc. are archival.

okay-mouth shut and ears open!

The clear film Book Mount can be adapted to whole newspapers. It is a good preservation mount; non-invasive, long term stable, and completely reversible.

Once mounted, the entire newspaper's face and edges are visible and it may be float-mounted on a solid background. It gives an old, fragile newspaper the best overall support for hanging vertically, as the newspaper does not have to endure the stress of its own weight.

If the clear film covering's gloss is objectionable (framers sometimes complain, customers do not), then a hybrid mount may be created using clear film, Stabilitex, and a slightly-undersized backer of fluted polypropylene. It is more work, gives somewhat less support, and costs considerably more for materials, but it is the least-visible way to float mount a whole newspaper. If you need details contact me privately.

In any case I suggest using the almost-invisible Museum Glass or Museum Optium Acrylic, and a frame at least 1-1/2" deep.
thanks for the reply. mounting these items is out of the question, as he doesn't want to damage the integrity of the paper and and any kind of mounting that bonds the paper to a substrate is out of the question. do you think that encapsulation is not a good way to go?

Take Jim up on his offer. His clear book mount is not mounting the newspaper to anthing but holding it.

i guess i don't know exactly what jim is talking about, though i guess i should. i'll do some research. the other factor is (no surprise here) that the customer doesn't want to spend much over $120.00 per piece to do this.

i guess i've got a problem, huh? :)

No, you don't have a problem; the customer does. Do they want it done right, or do they want it done cheap? They are precious heirlooms until it comes to spending $200+ each. Then they are not so precious... until you spoil one.
The oldest of the papers may be best able to
tolerate light exposure, but horizontal storage
in the dark is a far better preservation alternative. The safest course of action wouold be to check the threads on copyright issues
and then talk to the client about framing reproductions of the papers.

You might point out that framing the reproductions would be MUCH less expensive.

Once framed, good color copies are indistinguishable from the real thing.

Jim Miller teaches a very good class on his mounts. This is the advice I was suggesting you take. "If you need details contact me privately." His details will be well worth the price of a phone call.
thanks for all of your replies. you all, and patrick from don mar nj, have helped me decide what to do; photocopies and archival boxes.

all the best,

When will we just tell the customer the truth!~ I do it all the time!~ If it is valuable, Don't frame it!~ If it is for investment Don't Frame it!~ It is that easy!~ I do it all the time!~ Really!~ Take it home store it in a dark humity controlled area!~ Then take it out 30 years from now and you have an investment piece!~ Frame it even to consevation standards and leave it hang for 30 years and you have a slightly faded piece!~ That is not worth what the one that was stored is worth!~
They have to understand they can not have your cake and eat it too!~ Here is what you get!~ This how much it costs if you want the least amount of damage!~ This is what it will cost if you want it done for just decorative purposes!~ Will that be cash or charge? Next!~

Business is slow because of road construction and JoAnn's 65% off sale!~ But this policy still stands!~